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Exam tips from Hermawan, IELTS Band 8

Today I would like to share with you some IELTS tips from Hermawan, a Band 8 scorer from Indonesia. After winning our results competition in May, Hermawan wrote and shared some very good tips – simple, yet powerful.

He said:

“The tips are pretty straightforward.

1. Do a lot of practice tests. Any books are fine. However, I highly recommend the ones by Cambridge or Oxford. It is very important to familiarize yourself with the test.

2. Focus more on the module you are particularly weak in.

3. In the Listening module, when you are given time to read the questions, underline some keywords to help you focus on when you are trying to answer as you listen.

4. In the Reading module (you have probably heard this before, but anyway) DO NOT read the texts first. You do not have to understand the whole passage to answer the questions. So, work from the questions, start reading the text until you get the answer and move forward.

5. In the Writing module, learn how to organize your essay. Paragraph organization is very important. Time yourself during practice and familiarize yourself with the pace of your writing and the running time. It is crucial that you write in AT LEAST the number of words you are asked to write AND an organized way. Most IELTS preparation books should be able to teach you. Basically, organization is having an opening, body/content, and closing.

6. In the Speaking module, talk to yourself. Record and play it. Assess yourself or better, have someone with excellent English assess your spoken English. Practice like this particularly in section 2 of the module. Time yourself accordingly for preparing your speaking and finally do the speaking. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the actual pace of the test. Speed of your speech is not important. Speak at a modest speed. ENUNCIATE your words instead of mumbling. Speak in complete sentences.

7. Finally, relax a couple of days before the test. Don’t get too stressed out.

I hope the tips will be useful for anyone preparing for IELTS.

Good luck!”

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